Imagine yourself as an Islander living in an elegant Victorian home on a shady, oak-lined street on the Island’s east end, or in a home overlooking the sparkling Gulf of Mexico on the west end. There is a variety of rental property to choose from throughout the Island, from apartments to condominiums, high rises, low rises and raised beach homes.


Galveston has the amenities of a larger city, but with tight-knit small town friendliness. Its ethnically diverse citizens have worked together to make their city better since the early days of its founding in 1836. When faced with adversity, Galvestonians unite to solve whatever obstacles may arise. Non-profit organizations and community groups offer a variety of volunteer opportunities regardless of your interests or desired area of service.


The Island has a multifaceted economic base with expanding job markets in tourism, the medical field, marine-related fields, as well as other areas. Education, banking, insurance and marine industries also are job fields that contribute to the strong, diverse economy. Island life is enhanced by the absence of drive-time traffic reports on the radio and heavy traffic delays. The major thoroughfares are rarely heavily congested, even during peak times. And it takes no more than 15-20 minutes to get anywhere you want to go on the Island.


All this time saved driving to work and running errands can be spent enjoying Island life.


When the work day is over, pack a picnic dinner and some easy chairs and head to the beach. Temperatures are moderate, so outdoor activities are enjoyable year-round. Relax and enjoy watching the waves roll in at sunset as sandpipers scurry along the edge of the gulf water.


To enhance the pleasure of the beach for visitors and residents alike, the city operates a beach replenishment program to maintain the beaches below the seawall, a 10.4-mile-long concrete structure built to protect the Island against storm tides. As it has done since its creation after the 1900 storm, the seawall has again proven its worth in September 2008 when Hurricane Ike struck the Island.


Winter months, when currents deposit rows of shells on the sand, are the best time to comb the beaches for seashells. With average temperatures normally ranging from lows in the 50s (10 Celsius) to highs in the 60s (18 Celsius) December through February, the weather is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and bird watching.


The beach is only one of dozens of enjoyable leisure-time attractions in Galveston. The excellent restaurants, shops, museums and special events, which lure millions of tourists to the Island each year, also make it a fun place to live.


First-class museums recount the histories of almost every form of transportation – ships, planes and trains. Historic house museums, including the Bishop’s Palace, Moody Mansion, Ashton Villa, and the Menard House, preserve the elegant life of 19th-century Galveston.


Many of these museums are located in historic downtown Galveston, which has experienced a dramatic renaissance in the last three decades. For a number of years, the ornate Victorian buildings along The Strand were empty, decaying shells. They were sad reminders of what The Strand and Galveston once was – the vibrant cultural and economic center of the Southwest.


Over the past few decades, an infusion of millions of dollars in private and public funds has revived The Strand and surrounding downtown streets to their former glory. A leisurely tour by trolley or horse-drawn carriage through the area offers an appreciation of the Victorian architecture of the buildings that now house shops, restaurants, offices, loft apartments and nighttime hot spots. The Strand is just one of a number of retail and banking centers located conveniently throughout the Island. Other major areas of retail activity include Seawall Boulevard, 45th Street, 61st Street, Broadway and Stewart Road.

If you get a yearning for the big city and a faster pace, Houston is just an hour drive up Interstate 45. One of the largest cities in the United States, take your pick of professional sporting events, hundreds of restaurants, theater, live music, and all that a metropolitan area has to offer. But you’ll find, as many Islanders do, that Galveston has an appeal that’s undeniable and hard to leave. Few great cities have this appealing packaging of amenities – rich history, natural beauty, cultural events and stunning architecture – all tied up neatly in a soft blue ribbon of relaxed ambiance.

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